September 9, 2013
This week has been crazy! We started off the week with a two day exchange in Winona, Minnesota. On Monday I was on exchange with an elder from Santequin, Utah (graduated from Payson High School). During our exchange, I found out that we know some of the same people! There were a few people from Provo High School that moved to Payson High School, and I knew people that did FCCLA at Payson High School. Kind of cool :) Then on Tuesday, I went on another exchange. We taught a man about the church, and he taught us about the rapture. Interesting concept!
We were able to teach a couple this week about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The man was actually showing some progression this week, so we were very excited! We had a really great lesson, and he showed a lot more interest than he normally does. Progress is always promising!
During companionship inventory this week, my companion and I had a long talk about conversion. I came to the conclusion that sometimes the fact that I am an extreme perfectionist, I rely entirely on myself, and don't always allow others to help me. No wonder I sometimes have a difficult time opening up to other people! I realized that I need to rely more on others, and I especially need to put my trust in God, rather than myself. I have a lot of work to do, but I am excited to see what changes might come because of it. That night I spent a lot of time just thinking about everything, and why I am not able to forgive myself, and why I demand perfection from myself 24/7, and I ended up staying up until 3:30 AM. I prayed constantly, and asked for help and for guidance (and to be able to go to sleep...) Finally I kind of gave up, and then I was able to fall asleep, but with no real answers.
The next day we had Zone Training. My companion and I had to wake up at 5:00 AM to be ready and on the road so that we would be on time to the Zone Training in Rochester, Minnesota. It was a rough morning! We arrived a few minutes early, so we had a little time to study before the training began. I was exhausted and had no clue what to study, but I did anyways. I flipped through Preach My Gospel, and ended up looking at some of the pictures in Chapter 4, on recognizing the spirit. As I dazed off for a while, all of the sudden it hit me. I felt the spirit SO strongly, and I received an answer to the prayers I had offered the night before! I also realized that I cloud my mind with thoughts all the time, and the demands of being perfect, so the Spirit has no way of really impressing me. I have not allowed myself to feel the Spirit. It was a great moment! Then following, we had a Zone Training on conversion and goal setting / go-getting. It was just what I needed! President and Sister Clements are amazing, and I always learn so much from their trainings. One thing in particular that stood out to me was that "Life is like an obstacle course, with special challenges and trials that help us to change. Suffering alone will not change anything. Happiness and change come as we develop the attributes of Christ, and apply them. True conversion brings happiness." - President Clements.
After Zone Training I went on an exchange. We had the opportunity to teach a ten year old boy about the Plan of Salvation. This boy is ridiculously intelligent, and his father who is a member has taught him incredibly well. He is just about set to be baptized on September 15th, so we are crossing our fingers :)
We received two referrals this week, which was amazing, because we never get referrals! One of them was quite interesting though! We went to go meet with him, and he tried to enlighten our minds as we met with him. We learned that the extra pages in the back of the scriptures, bible included, are for rolling your own weed. Yep, he was nuts! He also used the "f-word" every couple of seconds. We realized that at the present moment he was not entirely ready to convert, but that we would try back another time and see what can come out of it. The other referral was a God send! It was from a man in the Madison, Wisconsin mission area who referred his insurance agent in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. He told us a lot about the referral, and that we learned that the man we were talking to was the father of the woman that recorded "the missionary next door"! We have been listening to her audio CD a lot lately, and have been SO inspired by it. This man is remarkable, and we are fortunate enough to get a referral from him! It was a really cool experience :)
My companion and I have grown really close this week in the little time that we have had together in our area. We have talked a lot about self-improvement and our goals, and we even shared a little bit of our patriarchal blessings with each other. He honestly is the best, and I don't know what exactly I am going to do when one of us is transferred. I guess all I can do right now is enjoy it while it lasts!
I have learned a lot of really great lessons this week, and I am excited to see what I will be able to accomplish in the weeks to come. Thank you all for all of your love and support! I couldn't do it without you :) I love and miss you all!
Elder Kyle William Andrews